DiscussionKick-off

Self-Defence Against the PKK?

The Turkish Approach to International Law

The conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a Kurdish insurgent movement is a four-decade-long (from the 1980s) guerrilla war in the southeast region of the country. Turkish President R.T. Erdogan, in a reaction to an attack in the centre of Ankara which killed at least 28 people and left another 61 injured on 17 February 2016, stated that “Our State will never give up its right …

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Current Developments

Zu ihrem Glück vereint

Die wechselvollen Beziehungen der Europäischen Union mit der Schweiz

Das öffentliche Interesse an dem Besuch von EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Junker am 22. November in Bern war groß. Im Vorfeld des – schon von langer Hand geplanten – Treffens mit dem Schweizer Bundesrat brannten erneute Diskussionen darüber auf wie die Beziehungen der Schweiz mit der Europäischen Union (EU) zukünftig aussehen könnten. Grund genug, sich den gegenwärtigen Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der Schweiz und der EU noch einmal vor Augen zu führen. …

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Current Developments

The winds in New York have not changed after the recent ICJ elections

Inflamed passions, relentless rallying and 11 voting sessions hence, the International Court of Justice (ICJ/World Court/Court) was finally made complete. Contrary to previous occasions characterizing the Court’s history, ‘completeness’ this time around meant something hitherto inconceivable. With the UK’s withdrawal of Justice Greenwood from the Court’s candidacy after repeatedly being trumped over by India’s Justice Bhandari, the ICJ will function without a judge drawn from a permanent member of the …

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Current Developments

Die Trump-Administration, der Kongress und das Dilemma des JCPOA

Nach knapp 12 Jahren stockend verlaufender Verhandlungen, verbunden mit massivem wirtschaftlichen Druck auf Iran, konnten sich am 14.07.2015 die Außenminister der EU-3+3 – Bezeichnung für Staaten (P5+Deutschland), die sich den diplomatischen Bemühungen mit Iran anschlossen – und Iran in Wien auf den gemeinsamen umfassenden Aktionsplan, den JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), einigen. Dieser Meilenstein, insbesondere in den amerikanisch-iranischen Beziehungen, wurde durch die Wahl des moderaten Kandidaten Hassan Rouhani in …

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Current Developments

Last but not least: Lebenslang für den “Schlächter des Balkans”

Das Urteil des Jugoslawienstrafgerichtshofes vom 22. November 2017 gegen Ratko Mladić

    Bei der Verfolgung massiver Gewaltverbrechen spielen die Verfahren gegen die Entscheidungsträger*innen eine besondere Rolle. Die bloße Verfolgung „kleiner Rädchen im Getriebe“ verspricht nicht den gleichen Effekt auf die nach Gerechtigkeit strebenden Betroffenen. Bei der strafrechtlichen Aufarbeitung des Bosnienkrieges blieb dem politischen Oberhaupt der bosnischen Serb*innen, Radovan Karadžić, eine lebenslange Freiheitsstrafe allerdings erspart. Entsprechend wurde der Urteilsverkündung gegen den militärischen Kopf der bosnischen Serb*innen, Ratko Mladić, von bosniakischer Seite …

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Current Developments

Can we detect paradigmatic shifts when we see them?

Observations from an interdisciplinary workshop on norm and value changes

There certainly is no shortage of supposedly common wisdoms in academia on the futility of interdisciplinary work, not all of them as witty as MacIntyres’ observation that it “seems impossible to be truly bi-lingual in scientific terminology and methodology”. At the same time, there are questions that no single discipline can answer. The Workshop “Decline or Transformation? Norm change and values in international law” convened by Andrea Liese (international relations) …

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DiscussionResponse

Quo Vadis PMSC?

The way forward in dealing with Private Military and Security Companies: A response to Prof. Sossai’s assessment of the legal side effects of privatized war

In his recent post, Mirko Sossai succinctly summarized three phases of research on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC). He also named the challenges on the way forward, particularly the need to avoid competing regulatory initiatives and finding an end to impunity of PMSC. This blog post will continue the discussion and focus on five key challenges for legal scholarship focused on PMSC. 1) Misunderstandings of Legal Terminology As Sossai …

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Current Developments

Verstoß von Deutschland gegen EMRK wegen mangelnder Untersuchung von Polizeigewalt

Die Entscheidung des EGMR vom 9. November 2017 in der Sache Hentschel and Stark v. Germany, 47274/15

Der EGMR hat in einem für Deutschland sehr wichtigen Verfahren eine Verletzung von Art. 3 der Konvention festgestellt. Das ist bisher noch nicht häufig geschehen. Art. 3 schützt gegen unmenschliche Behandlung. Der EGMR hat in dem Urteil festgestellt, dass keine ausreichende Untersuchung eines nach den Umständen nicht offenbar unbegründeten Vorwurfs einer Anwendung von unverhältnismäßiger Polizeigewalt erfolgt war. Der Fall betraf den Polizeieinsatz vom 9. Dezember 2007 im Zusammenhang mit einem …

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Current Developments

La situation en Catalogne

Chronique d’une tentative de sécession avortée

La déclaration d’indépendance de la Catalogne constitue à n’en pas douter l’expression la plus forte de la crise institutionnelle qu’a connu la Catalogne ces dernières années. Si la question du statut de la Catalogne avait notamment conduit par le passé à l’annulation de l’organisation d’un référendum le 9 novembre 2014 par la Tribunal constitutionnel espagnol, les récents développements appellent une analyse approfondie tant sous l’angle du droit constitutionnel espagnol que …

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Current Developments

Wind Of Change in New York?

Die diesjährigen Richterwahlen zum IGH und die Implikationen für das Machtgefüge der Vereinten Nationen

Am Ende ging es ganz schnell. Nach einem tagelangen Machtpoker um den verbleibenden freien Platz am IGH zog Großbritannien seinen Kandidaten, den amtierenden Richter Sir Christopher Greenwood, zurück. Der Weg war frei für die Wahl des indischen Kandidaten Dalveer Bhandari, ebenfalls amtierender Richter in Den Haag. Zuvor wurden bereits vier der fünf im Jahr 2018 frei werdenen Richterstellen am IGH besetzt. Wiedergewählt wurden der amtierende Gerichtspräsident Ronny Abraham (Frankreich), Vizepräsident …

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DiscussionResponse

Who may see the Acropolis? Global patterns of inequality and the right to tourism

In her contribution on the newly created right to tourism, Sabrina Tremblay-Huet convincingly states, that the social and economic phenomenon of tourism has been widely disregarded by the social sciences, law and philosophy due to the focus of the academia on migration. However, there are many reasons to highlight the growing relevance of tourism in world society: First, the tourist sector generates by now 10 percent of the world’s GDP. …

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Call for ContributionsCritical Race Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Call for Contributions: Critical Race Perspectives on International Law

Call for contributions to the upcoming online-symposium

“Race is the child of racism, not the father,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates in “Between the World and Me”. Such understanding of race not as an empirical category but as a category for analyzing power relations and structural discrimination underlies the symposium “Critical Race Perspectives on International Law“ that Völkerrechtsblog will host in February 2018. We invite contributions that address questions of race in various areas of international law, those taking comparative …

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DiscussionKick-off

A right to tourism – and the duty of hosting the leisure class

Some thoughts on the recent Convention on Tourism Ethics

The movement of bodies across borders attracts significant media and academic interest. This interest is often directed at specific forms of movement, such as refugees and economic migration. Another form of movement of bodies is having an important environmental, cultural, social and economic impact, albeit more quietly in the human rights realm: that of tourism, most especially mass tourism. Leisure tourism is not widely recognized as a serious area of …

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Call for ContributionsRussian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Call for Contributions: Russian Perspectives on International Law

Call for contributions to the online-symposium

The Völkerrechtsblog is happy to announce an online symposium on “International Law Seen from Russia”. This symposium is meant to offer insights from scholars working on international law issues related to Russia, to shed light on specific questions from the Russian context, and on Russian perspectives on international law. Russia is among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, occupying a central place in UN law-making and …

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DiscussionResponse

Rethinking containment through the EU-Libya Migration Deal

In response to Nils Muiznieks, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe who asked Italy to clarify its relationships with Libyan militia, the Italian Prime Minister Marco Minniti declared on October 11 that Italy’s goal is twofold: “to prevent migrant crossing which put life at risk […] and to grant that international standards are respected in Libya”. Minniti’s speech should be analysed in the light of the recent overt …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Auctoritas non veritas facit Legem

A Response to Professor Roberto Niembro’s Conceptualisation of Authoritarian Constitutionalism

This blog post is a response to Roberto Niembro’s post on authoritarian constitutionalism for the Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law. This post will be cross-posted on the Blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law as part of a collaboration between Voelkerrechtsblog and the IACL blog .  At the beginning of the new century there are more constitutional democracies than ever, and authoritarian regimes seems to be weaker, isolated and more …

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Current Developments

The identification of individuals

Some thoughts on the ECHR judgment in the case N.D. and N.T.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its judgment in the case and N.T. v. Spain found that push-backs to Morocco in the border zone of the Spanish enclave Melilla violated the prohibition of collective expulsion. The decision is important as it concerns the delimitation between legitimate border protection and practices that violate the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) – and thereby the key question in all regulation …

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DiscussionKick-off

Brother, where art thou?

Libya, spaces of violence and the diffusion of knowledge

The key political question in recent months has been how to reduce the number of unauthorized migrants that arrive to Europe’s shores in rickety vessels from politically unstable countries in North Africa. The overwhelming majority of the more than 134.000 migrants that arrived by sea to Europe this year landed on Italian shores (approximately 103.300). Most of the migrants landing in Italy departed from wartorn Libya. Italy seems to have …

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Discussion

Combatting the legal side effects of privatized war

What has been achieved, and what still needs to be done in international legal scholarship on Private Military and Security Companies

This contribution continues our journal cooperation with the journal “Swiss Review of International & European Law“. Over the past twenty years a lively debate on the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in situations of armed conflict has developed. The time has come for an appraisal of the rich literature on the phenomenon. This post which is written in the context of the journal cooperation with the Swiss …

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Current Developments

Returns Without Examinations

Greece’s Recent Judgment on Syrians’ Asylum Claims

On September 22, 2017, Greece’s highest administrative court – the Council of State – proclaimed that two Syrian asylum seekers can be deported to Turkey as a so-called safe third country. A court official explained the reasons for the judgment stating that “the court rejected the Syrians’ claims that their life and freedom would be in danger if they were returned to Turkey, as the judges opined this did not …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionResponse

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination: Long Shots and Legal Flair

The image conjured by the first subtitle of Zoran Oklopcic’s post on the referendum on Catalan self-determination, that of a zombie self-determination resurrected from its post-Kosovan resting place and back to haunt international legal rhetoric perfectly captures the mood amongst many in the international community who had perhaps been hoping that the rhetoric of self-determination had all but given up the ghost. As Oklopcic underlines, the past 15 years have …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part II)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Constitutionalizing Secession in Canada and Britain: Setting a(n) (bad) example? What encouraged the Catalans to place their bets on the persuasive power of remedial self-determination were two constitutional, not international legal texts: the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec, and the 2013 Edinburgh Agreement between the British and the Scottish governments on the referendum of the independence of Scotland. Though neither offered support to the Catalan …

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Current DevelopmentsDiscussionKick-off

The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part I)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Dawn of the Living Dead? Self-Determination in (Southern) Europe, 1991 – 2017 Scheduled to take place on 1 October 2017, the referendum on the independence of Catalonia looks to be a turning point in the history of the Iberian peninsula; if not a point of no return, then at least the moment after which the relationship between Catalonia and Spain will never again be the same. Though it is hard …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Access to Justice for Socio-Economic Rights: Lessons from the Indian Experience

This is a cross-post shared with  the blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law as part of a collaboration between Voelkerrechtsblog and the IACL Blog. Professor David Bilchitz in a recent blog considered obstacles concerning access to justice for litigating socio-economic rights in South Africa and potential solutions to overcome these obstacles. He argued that South Africa should (i) empower individuals to enable them to make claims and (ii) expand its current …

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Discussion

Is a bird in the hand always worth two in the bush?

An assessment of the EU’s New Approch Towards the Two-State Solution

This post inaugurates a new cooperation of Völkerrechtsblog with the “Leiden Journal of International Law“. Firmly established as one of the leading journals in the field, the Leiden Journal of International Law (LJIL) provides a venue for sharp and critical voices that speak on the theory and practice of international law. It aspires to introduce or amplify refreshing and innovative approaches to perennial as well as topical issues in the field. The Journal’s focus …

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Current Developments

Messing with the Mess We Are In

Notes from the Transregional Academy on ‘Redistribution and the Law in an Antagonistic World’ from 21-30 August 2017 in Berlin

German legal scholarship has a reputation for being quite orthodox. Amid doctrinal sophistication and positivist assumptions, however, lie hidden treasure islands of heterodoxy. One such island was the Transregional Academy on ‘Redistribution and the Law in an Antagonistic World’, organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien and a steering committee of legal academics based in the US, UK and Germany. The Academy explored different ways in which law shapes and regulates …

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Current Developments

Status: “It’s complicated”

On African leaders’ troubled relationship with international courts

Courts are to many African leaders what models are to soccer stars: they are arm candy, but they are not expected to develop a life of their own, or make anybody look bad in public. Thus, if international courts dare to touch upon issues that actually matter to African elites, they will either be killed off or neutered, or, if this is not possible, states will withdraw from their jurisdiction. …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Constitutional authoritarianism, not authoritarian constitutionalism!

A Constitutionalist View

In these times of re-emerging illiberalism, populism and authoritarianism, there is an increasing need for us to attempt to find new academic concepts to describe the phenomena that are emerging. These efforts can also help to redefine existing forms of constitutional developments. One increasingly common term used is authoritarian constitutionalism, which seems to fit into the debates of the last decades like global constitutionalism or international constitutionalism, and appears to …

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InterviewPractitioner's Corner

David gegen Goliath

Ein Interview mit Survival International zu den Rechten indigener Völker

Wenn man über indigene Völker in den Medien liest, dann liest man in der Regel leider selten Gutes: Land Grabbing, Vertreibung oder, wie in Australien, der Kampf der Aborigines um die Anerkennung als erste Bewohner des Landes in Form eines Vertrages. Survival International ist eine internationale Nichtregierungsorganisation, die sich für die Rechte indigener Völker einsetzt. Wir sprachen mit Linda Poppe von Survival International über aktuelle Herausforderungen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Rechts …

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Current Developments

The C-Star’s Odyssey and the International Law of the Sea

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”, the Greek hero Odysseus, having left his home Ithaca to help bring Helena back from Troy, faced manifold hardships on his return across the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2017, European citizens set sail in a self-prescribed mission not to bring someone home, but to prevent others from calling Europe home. The loosely affiliated Generation Identity, consisting mostly of activists from Austria, France, Germany and …

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Forum

On book reviews: Why, when and how to write them

Book reviews are perhaps a difficult format for academic writing. After all, what we all like to do best is talk about ourselves and our own ideas and why we are right. Writing a book review, however, puts someone else’s work in prime position; readers learn first about the reviewed work and only secondly something about the writer of the review herself. Perhaps this is why so few scholars, in …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Interrogating “Constitutionalism of the South” and New Pathways for Research: The Case for a Central America in the Global Debate

Latin American constitutional scholarship is on the rise in the Anglophone world. New collaborative works (such as Dixon and Ginsburg’s new comparative constitutional law edition (2017), the Borges et al ‘Law and Policy’ edition (2017), and Couso et al ‘Cultures of Legality’ (2010), as well as individual monographs (like Gargarella (2013) and Mirow (2015)), provide a quality introduction to the region in English. Latin Americanism in Latin American Comparative Studies …

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Current Developments

Zwischen Skylla und Charybdis

Die Kollision von völkerrechtlichen Intra-EU-BITs mit dem Unionsrecht

Die Straßen rund um das Plateau Kirchberg im Osten Luxemburgs, quasi der Herzkammer der europäischen Rechtswissenschaft, sind schon seit mehreren Jahren eine Dauerbaustelle. Am Montag, den 19. Juni 2017, war vielen im Luxemburger Europaquartier jedoch klar, dass die vielleicht größten Baustellen hinter den Türen des Boulevard Konrad Adenauer liegen. Die Vereinbarkeit des Unionsrechts mit den Schiedsgerichtsverfahren ist nicht erst seit den Diskussionen um die Freihandelsabkommen CETA und TTIP ein Dauerbrenner …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Knowledge Production in Comparative Constitutional Law

Alterity – Contingency – Hybridity

The idea and the reality of the Global South represent different types of epistemological challenges to the disciplinary identity of comparative (constitutional) law. As a term, it is no more than two decades old, though its pedigree reaches back to the 1950s and the idea of a ‘third world’ which brought together Cold War developmental taxonomy with the earlier concept of a formerly excluded ‘third estate’ (tiers etat) staking a …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Towards a Constitutionalism of the Wretched

Global Constitutionalism, International Law and the Global South

The field of Global Constitutionalism (also sometimes called “International Constitutionalism”) is a very odd field, one which, with very limited exceptions (Frankenberg, Schwöbel, and Volk), has been neglected by most critical international and constitutional law scholars. One reason it is an oddity is because of its disciplinary hybridity. That is to say, it is neither fish nor fowl – it is neither fully a discipline of comparative constitutionalism nor is …

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DiscussionResponse

On ‘cyber trafficking’ and the protection of its victims

‘Cyber trafficking’ has become a buzzword in scientific and policy discussions related to human trafficking. However, as has been noted elsewhere, the term is far from being used in a uniform way. In her recent post, Sabine Witting discusses the case of trafficking that is exclusively committed online. In my view, ‘cyber trafficking’ is a much more wide-spread phenomenon than what her article seems to imply, occurring within many cases …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Expanding Access to Justice for Socio-Economic Rights Complaints in South Africa

Which Direction Should We Head in?

The South African constitution has been lauded for its inclusion of justiciable socio-economic rights. Yet, making claims flowing from these rights remains inaccessible to many people across the country. This blog post (based on a paper being presented at a conference in Berlin on Constitutionalism in the Global South) seeks to consider the obstacles relating to access to justice for socio-economic rights claims in South Africa and potential solutions. I …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Pushing for Transformation

Comment on the VRÜ anniversary conference panel on “Transformative Constitutionalism”

Transformative constitutionalism is a somewhat fuzzy notion. Reflecting about its exact meaning, one wonders what it actually is that distinguishes transformative constitutions of other types of constitutions. On the surface, the qualification as transformative signifies that a constitution contains norms that describe a particular aim or status to be reached. In the German context, one might for example think of Article 3 (2) of the Grundgesetz requiring the state to …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

Conceptualizing authoritarian constitutionalism

A Latin American view

Authoritarian constitutionalism is a new category used by constitutional law scholars to refer to a distinct type of regime wherein there are faulty practices and a constitution with an authoritarian content. With these characteristics in mind it seems contradictory to talk about “constitutionalism”. In this post I introduce a different understanding of authoritarian constitutionalism. For Mark Tushnet, authoritarian constitutionalism is an intermediate normative model between liberal constitutionalism and authoritarianism that …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law

Opening remarks on the 50th VRÜ anniversary conference

While scholarship in comparative constitutional law is booming, this anniversary conference is an unusual event in at least two ways: It is asking particularly about the role of the Global South in comparative constitutional law, and it does so with a group of speakers that is mixed, if not dominated by voices from the Global South. And indeed: This conference is meant to be not just a reflection of current …

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Global South in Comparative Constitutional LawSymposium

The 12mm-Winchester-Gun and the Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law

Symposium accompanying the 50-year anniversary conference of our partner journal VRÜ

This week, our partner journal Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ) / Law and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America celebrates its 50th birthday with an international conference on “The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law” in Berlin. We will accompany this conference with an online symposium also featured on the blog of the International Association of Constitutional Law. The symposium is not only intended to make the conference …

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Interview

“You learn a lot from your teachers but mostly from your students”

An interview with Joseph H. H. Weiler

From Joseph Weiler you can learn a lot – not only about what he teaches, but also about how to teach. That was the widely shared impression of participants in the 2017 Masterclass at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. At the end of four amazing days of discussion and learning, Joseph Weiler kindly agreed to give an interview, and to talk about jokes, teaching, and the human condition.

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Current Developments

The unsolved case of Giulio Regeni

An attempted legal analysis

More than one year after the dead body of the Italian Ph.D. student Giulio Regeni was found in Cairo, his ghastly demise remains unresolved. The circumstances of his death cast a shadow of suspicion over potential involvement of either Egyptian police forces or secret services in the killing. Egyptian authorities initially denied any allegations, consistently maintaining unconvincing accounts. Only recently, have Egyptian authorities displayed dubious signs of cooperation with their Italian counterparts …

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DiscussionKick-off

‘Cyber’ Trafficking? An Interpretation of the Palermo Protocol in the Digital Era

The digital era has changed the traditional realm and modus operandi of organised crime, such as human trafficking. With the increasing access to and usage of the internet, major criminal activity has expanded to the online sphere. Law enforcement around the world is however largely not prepared for combatting cybercrime. Many states have not yet reached the capacity of drafting cyber specific legislation. In Africa for example, only 11 states …

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Current DevelopmentsForum

Preemptive Self-Defense? Not yet!

Nordkorea hat in diesem Jahr neun Raketentests durchgeführt, zuletzt drei innerhalb von nur drei Wochen, begleitet von den üblichen Drohungen Richtung Südkorea und den USA. Die letzte Rakete ist am 29. Mai nach rund 450 km in das japanische Meer gestürzt. Auch Japan fühlt sich bedroht und kündigte „konkrete Schritte“ an. Außerdem befinden sich mittlerweile drei Flugzeugträgergruppen der US Navy im Westpazifik. Amerikanische B1 Bomber unternehmen Übungsflüge über Südkorea, und …

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Current Developments

The Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, or: how explosive existing law can be

The Michigan Guidelines are a document in which legal scholars summarize the existing international laws of refugee protection on one particular aspect. They are “just” an expert opinion – yet by no means insignificant in that capacity. They are used by courts interpreting the law and thus stand themselves at the threshold of the legal. At any rate the guidelines can frame debates about the legality of state actions in …

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Current Developments

Die Michigan Guidelines on Refugee Freedom of Movement, oder: so brisant ist das geltende Recht

Die Michigan Guidelines sind ein Dokument, in welchem WissenschaftlerInnen das bestehende Flüchtlingsrechts zu einem bestimmten Aspekt zusammenfassen. Sie sind „nur“ eine Expertenmeinung – und dabei doch nicht wenig: Sie werden von Gerichten zur Auslegung des Rechts herangezogen und stehen so selbst an der Schwelle zum Rechtlichen. In jedem Fall können sie die Debatten über Rechtmäßigkeit von staatlichem Handeln im Bereich Flüchtlingsschutz und Migrationskontrolle rahmen. Sie tragen die wesentlichen Rechtsvorschriften zusammen …

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Current DevelopmentsForum

Kulturgüter – Neue Narrative für den Umgang mit dem postkolonialen Erbe

Der Kulturgüterschutz ist wie kaum ein anderes Feld mit Fragen der Identität sowie Emotionen verknüpft. In ihrem konzisen Überblick zu den Herausforderungen des völkerrechtlichen Kulturgüterschutzes hat Adrianna A. Michel diesen Punkt subkutan, aber auch explizit, thematisiert. „Restitution“ ist in aller Munde, wenn historische Gerechtigkeit beschworen wird, die gegenüber den ehemaligen Kolonialterritorien und quasi-kolonialisierten Gebieten zu üben ist. Mit der Argumentationsfigur vom gemeinsamen kulturellen Erbe der Menschheit werden solche Forderungen oftmals …

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Current Developments

The International Arbitration Bill and the future of arbitrations in South Africa

“The vast bulk of Africa-related international arbitration cases are resolved in Europe.” Most treaties concluded by the Republic of South Africa (‘RSA’) do not require the exhaustion of domestic remedies before approaching an international tribunal. The case of Piero Foresti, Laura de Carli and others v. Republic of South Africa (ICSID Case No. ARB(AF)/07/1) (‘Piero Foresti’) has been cited as the case that galvanised the government of South Africa to take …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Vive la diversité!

A Roadmap to Gender Parity on African Regional Courts?

As of May 2017, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR) appears to be the most gender balanced bench in the world, with women occupying 45% (5 out of 11) of the seats on the court. This development is a far outcry from the meager 18% (2 out of 11) seats women have occupied on the court when it came into force in 2006. Notwithstanding this observation, the …

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DiscussionResponse

The role of the ICC and of non-State actors concerning the protection of cultural heritage

International cultural heritage law is a vast and complex field of research which involves many actors, as the previous contribution by Adrianna Michel shows. In response, we would like to give a couple of thoughts on two of the issues raised by the author: the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the role of non-States actors. Regarding the ICC, the condemnation of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for …

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DiscussionKick-off

Kulturgüterschutz – eine Verpflichtung gegenüber der uns nachfolgenden Generation

Die heutigen Formen der Bedrohung von Kulturgütern sind vielschichtig. Neben der Zerstörung in bewaffneten Konflikten oder aus religiösem Wahn spielen auch der Raub und die Verschleppung in und nach kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen eine wesentliche Rolle. In den letzten Jahren hat sich in tragischer Weise gezeigt, dass islamistische Fundamentalisten immer häufiger mit der Zerstörung von bedeutenden Kulturgütern die Bühne der Weltöffentlichkeit suchen. Die Zerstörungswut richtet sich gezielt gegen die zivilisierte Wertegemeinschaft. Unersetzliche …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Judgment and diversity

Thinking with Hannah Arendt about the composition of international court benches

If the number of female judges in an international tribunal is one out of twenty-one, as in the case of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), we can assume that there is a problem. Not because a woman’s judgment would necessarily and predictably be different, as Selen Kazan has discussed. But, as Nienke Grossman also explains here, because women are just as qualified to serve as …

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Current Developments

Konstitutionelles Sultanat versus US-amerikanisches Präsidialsystem

Regimewechsel Die Türkei hat am 16. April 2017 ein Verfassungsreferendum durchgeführt. Eine knappe (noch umstrittene) Mehrheit von 51,4 % der Wähler hat sich für die Einführung eines Präsidialsystems ausgesprochen. Damit steht der nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg entstandene türkische Staat vor einem epochalen Regimewechsel: Die Verfassungsänderung (vgl. für englische Übersetzung hier) ersetzt das parlamentarische System durch ein „Präsidialsystem alla turca“. Ab 2019 entfällt das Amt des Regierungschefs (Ministerpräsidenten); der Präsident wird zukünftig …

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Current DevelopmentsEvent

Grenzenloses Recht. Dem Völkerrechtshistoriker Jörg Fisch zum 70. Geburtstag

Wie universal kann ein eurozentrisch geprägtes Völkerrecht sein? Und wie lässt sich vermeiden, dass faktische Ungleichheit eine internationale Rechtsordnung sprengt, die seit der Dekolonisierung als Recht zwischen Gleichen ausgestaltet ist? Mit diesen Fragen hat sich der Zürcher Historiker Jörg Fisch schon in seiner 1984 veröffentlichten Bielefelder Habilitationsschrift „Die europäische Expansion und das Völkerrecht“ befasst – einer bahnbrechenden Studie über „die Auseinandersetzungen um den Status der überseeischen Gebiete vom 15. Jahrhundert …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Why a woman’s presence on the bench is a human rights issue

In order to avoid the danger of an essentialist approach when talking about women’s representation in international courts, the issue should be framed as of of human rights and not merely as one of gender. Although both approaches, the human rights and a more gender-focused feminist one, may have the same goal this is a tricky and crucial distinction to be made. When discussing arguments for women’s presence on the …

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Feminist Critiques of International CourtsSymposium

Feminist Judgments in International Law

The Idea of the Feminist Judgments Projects A feminist critique of international courts can confront the lack of representation and inclusion of women as well as women’s lack of access to courts and the justice system. However, any critique of International Courts would be limited without a critical analysis of their output, the all important judgment! Instead of performing the usual academic critique of where the judgment was lacking in …

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